Command Prompt / Console / Bash on Ubuntu on Windows

Shrouded in the mists of time, the Windows Console was created. For millenia, geeks and developers wrought their command-line tools but after a while, a great lacking was noticed. And so, legions of ever intrepid command-line mavens migrated to other shells and consoles, ’til but a stalwart few remained.

In Windows 10, with a deep rumbling, the ancient, weary, Windows Console heaved a great sigh and began to tremble. New features appeared, but slow was the (aparrent) progress.

But then, in early 2016, from under a rock evolved a group of new console dev’s. And then a PM. The journey to modernity had begun … again! WE’RE BACK! AGAIN!

Please post your asks, ideas, wants and needs below: We ARE listening, and we ARE grateful for your feedback!

@RichTurn_ms, Paul, Mike1 & Mike2.

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  1. Support tabbed interface

    Great to see some of these improvements, especially the cut/copy/paste keyboard shortcuts. However, I've been seeking for a way for the cmd window to have a tabbed interface for a while. So, for example, I can run a ping/tracert etc. in one tab, a chkdsk in another tab, and something else in a third, without having multiple windows open taking up screen real estate.

    Also consider adding panes side-by-side within the console.

    1,269 votes
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      on the backlog  ·  31 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    • UTF-8

      I really really want utf-8, I do not use any legacy console apps from 80-s, so please please please make it happens :)

      671 votes
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        19 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

        As Chip said, UTF-16 is rather baked into the stuff we do. The console host does use UTF-16 somewhere in there. :P We just have the matter of dealing with code pages throughout the history of computing existence that causes us heartburn every time we think about how to fix this. :( It’s definitely something that we would like to look into on our backlog.

        —Michael

      • Make links clickable

        Parse console output for urls and make it possible to open them with a click (or ctrl+click).

        267 votes
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          4 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

          Yep, this would be really cool. Not just for URLs, but things like paths too. Script emits a path to an error log? Just ctrl+click it to open!

          I can see some trickery around the parsing (performance impacts? security? and of course the parsing itself…) and the launching of another app (security again?). But it would be awesome.

          It’s on our backlog for sure.

          —Michael

        • "Ctrl+Plus" and "Ctrl+Minus" for resizing text

          Another needed step to make the Cmd feel more responsive and dynamic.

          245 votes
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            on the backlog  ·  8 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
          • Add "sudo" tool/command in cmd/PowerShell

            On *nix you can run a command from a non-root shell, which is the equivalent of a non-administrator Command Prompt, with administrative privileges, similar to what UAC does when it asks a user if they would like to give an application administrative privileges. To disable a network adapter, for example, you can run "sudo ifconfig eth0 down". The prefixed "sudo" command will run "ifconfig eth0 down" with what is essentially administrator privileges in Windows. Currently you have to do some long-winded (long-typed?) "runas", which requires that a username and password are provided. I don't necessarily need Command Prompt to always…

            188 votes
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              6 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            • Global hotkey to activate/deactivate running console window.

              It would be great if there could be a global hotkey to activate and deactivate the console window.

              This is also called a "quake style" command line, similar to the console in Quake games.

              For example, if I have the console running in the background, but my current focus is Visual Studio and I hit Ctrl+`, it should activate the console window by making it the current focus. Hitting Ctrl + ` again would make Visual Studio the focus.

              iTerm2 on the Mac has this and it's my favorite feature.

              173 votes
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                13 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                You will be Rich’s best friend forever. He loves the idea of a Quake console as well and talks about it all the time. :P I know for sure this is in our backlog already.

                Some of the suggestions like persistence and multiple sessions and whatnot seem related to the “history between sessions” and tabs/multiplexing ideas. Same technical challenges apply, but sounds possible at some point. :)

                —Michael

              • Transparency enhancement

                Transparency is a nice visual enhancement, but it should only apply to the window contents and not the surrounding "chrome" of the window, such as the title bar and scroll bar. Also in the settings dialog, the slider should indicate the percentage of transparency that it is set to instead of blindly guessing at what point on the slider is ~70% or whatever the user finds preferable.

                142 votes
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                  on the backlog  ·  10 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                • Backspace should delete selected text

                  Now that you can easily select text [with ctrl+a or just by dragging over it] and copy and paste text [with ctrl+c & ctrl+d], why not make that we should not be required to delete every character separately?! Please make the backspace and delete key work to delete all selected text.

                  106 votes
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                    1 comment  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                    Oooh yep. That is a natural extension of what we’ve done. It’s just a lot trickier to manipulate the input line (there are different input modes that apps can subscribe to and whatnot) than it is to enable more ways to select the output. But I hear you for sure. Now that we select more like a text editor, I want it all! It’s on the backlog. :)

                    —Michael

                  • Auto-hide scrollbar, esecially in full-screen mode

                    Hide the scrollbar until mouse approaches it. Make the "hit zone" for showing the scrollbar bigger than the scrollbar itself so it's not too hard to show. This feature would be especially nice in full screen mode.

                    99 votes
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                      7 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    • Consider adding a status-bar

                      2.Please add an (optional) status-bar showing the cursor position in X:Y coordinates, Insert key mode, Text selection mode, etc.

                      [Transposed from my original asks posted in 2011 :)]

                      78 votes
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                        on the backlog  ·  4 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      • Decouple cmd and powershell from main windows updates release cycle

                        With the move to get most things into the windows store and otherwise automatically updating themselves a-la evergreen web-browsers, and even windows-as-a-service, why not consider a similar evergreen approach for cmd and powershell? Remove the requirement to be tightly bound to the base system thereby allowing more incremental and faster-cadence releases.

                        71 votes
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                          1 comment  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                          PowerShell was recently open-sourced: https://github.com/powershell/powershell

                          Cmd is the original Windows command-line shell interpreter and rarely changes in order to maintain compatibility with the billions of scripts run on hundreds of millions of machines every day.

                          The Windows console is the terminal/console window used by cmd, PowerShell, Telnet, Ping, Bash on Windows, etc. and is an integral and essential part of Windows: In fact, Windows cannot even boot without the Console’s engine being present and working as expected!

                          We do agree that it’d be cool if we could deliver a console via the store, but that’s a project for another day ;)

                        • Don't get rid of CMD/Powershell - make a plain console with tabs for CMD/Powershell/Combined modes.

                          I like a lot of the ideas on here. Imagine a plain console with optional tabs and transparency and history and autocomplete and sudo commands, etc. And imagine when making a new tab you can select if you want it to be for only CMD or only Powershell, or CMD and Powershell combined. And if you wanna set a default mode you can in settings, and you can quickly set a mode without clicking a whole bunch of things and you can change it with a keyboard or button click. And if you want separate programs it's optional.

                          55 votes
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                            4 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • Support long paths (>MAX_PATH)

                            Please support long paths (>MAX_PATH) - robocopy supports that, the Windows API supports that (=> "\\.\").
                            Right now I have to use subst to shorten the path, which is a real pain.

                            47 votes
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                              2 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                            • Editing area of cmd should be consistent with standard Windows UI design principles

                              Right now there is Quick Edit mode, which controls 2 things.

                              1) Whether or not right clicking immediately pastes (Quick Edit=On) or displays a context menu (Quick Edit=Off)
                              2) Whether or not click drag can select text (Quick Edit=On) or does nothing (Quick Edit=Off)

                              However, any normal text editor or program which uses a standard windows edit control behaves like Quick Edit=Off for right clicking and Quick Edit=On for selection. So the behavior of cmd is both inconsistent with Windows' own UI design principles as well as very inconvenient.

                              If you want to select text like people always select text…

                              37 votes
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                                2 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                              • Please add a hotkey to clear the console (similar to ctrl-k on OS X)

                                I frequently use the OS X terminal when teaching Python *even for Windows developers*. Much of what you are doing with the command prompt is going to fix this. But the ability to hit a single hotkey and clear the console is very helpful. Please give us this feature.

                                33 votes
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                                  4 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                                  You got it, it’s on our backlog, including the ability to clear the console while an app or script is executing. We’ll have to think carefully about the latter, especially. —Rich

                                • I want a full set of POSIX utilities

                                  Please nothing bloated like gnu coreutils, just basic POSIX functionality out of powershell so I can feel at home on Windows Server.

                                  28 votes
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                                    1 comment  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  • Allow Fallback Fonts

                                    It'd be nice to have font fallbacks to allow unicode symbols to show up in the terminal. Consolas doesn't have very good Unicode coverage, and most *nix terminals have the capability.

                                    24 votes
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                                      1 comment  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    • Make it easier to add / change / update color schemes in command line

                                      Please make it easier to import / export and switch between "color schemes". Ideally we'd have:

                                      - A predefined set of "schemes", just like VS or VS code
                                      - A simple way to pick one (dropdown list)
                                      - A simple way to import / export schemes

                                      20 votes
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                                        0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      • Allow to customize colors for a terminal

                                        With the new 24-bit color options, it would be great to actually be able to use some of the new colors.

                                        It's already well known that you can change colors in the registry to change the colors of the console.
                                        According to this article, you can also change colors on a single shortcut (.lnk) https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20130527-00/?p=4253

                                        Now it would be great to have a UI for changing colors.
                                        The current UI only allows changes to Screen Text, Screen Background, Popup Text and Popup Background.
                                        http://imgur.com/StT8gDZ

                                        I would like to define the 16 original colors as another variant of those colors. For…

                                        19 votes
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                                          0 comments  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        • Very Nice Looking Command Prompt

                                          Win10techPview - cmd.exe (console) word wrap not available and not working. when changing buffer / width / height params they do not remain set once you exit properties and then open properties again.
                                          Ugly fonts still - could do with a nice revamp there????

                                          19 votes
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                                            1 comment  ·  Console/Terminal  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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